Friday, October 21, 2005

Are You A Christian?

LaShawn Barber posts on "What It Means To Be A Christian." She prefaces her points with, "Being a Christian means you have embraced what the Bible says about God, mankind, and salvation."

Embracing truth means embracing ideas and standards often in conflict with societal phases, fads and trends. It's countercultural. Wanna be a revolutionary? Follow Jesus. Following anyone or anything else just gets you damned. (If that last word bothers you, it should. If it really, really bothers you, very good. If you don't believe there is such a thing as "eternal damnation," then you definitely need to read LaShawn's piece. Twice.)

Acts 4:12 "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved."

Let eyes be opened, Lord. Let every ear hear.

Kashmir Earthquake Toll Nears 80,000

*Any way you look at it, it's horrifying. Adrian's Blog has an update. You can help. They hate us. Let's show them we love them. Be a Good Samaritan in Christ's name.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Lord of the Storm: a quote, some lyrics, a few verses

Sometimes the Lord calms the storm.
Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms his child.
-- Author: Unknown

There is an ocean surrounding me,
Mostly the water is calm.
Just enough breeze to keep me sailing,
I feel safe and warm.
Angry winds blow suddenly--
How this world can threaten me!
Then the Master speaks with sure authority:

"Peace, be still. Peace, be still. Peace, be still,"
To the wind and the rain.
"Peace, be still. Peace, be still. Peace, be still."
And the ocean obeyed.
--"Peace Be Still" by Twila Paris

Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name;
Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
The God of glory thunders;
The LORD is over many waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful;
The voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
--Psalm 29:2-4

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Mmmmm, yummy! Oooooh, pretty!--or--How to Lessen Stormwatch Stress

I cannot possibly eat another thing. I've storm binged. Yes, there is a new syndrome. Storm binging. (Or is that bingeing?) Consuming mass quantities of whatever is at hand in order to get some serotonin up to the taxed nervous system.


I should have just bid on something on eBay. Fewer calories.

Yep, that's another storm distraction technique: shopping!

So, a little plug: A pal of mine with an artistic bent makes custom-designed, seriously adorable cards. She's a scrapbooking enthusiast who transfers those skills to her card designs. Check out Nana Renan's auctions. She made me a one-of-a-kind birthday card for my grandniece that is a thousand times cuter than anything I could buy in the stores. Nice enough to merit keepsake status. The auction cards are simpler than my special-ordered one, but they're still very, very nice.

Yeah, food and pretties. That'll keep me from losing it as Wilma churns.

Scared Poopless in South Florida

Trust me, there is such a thing as storm exhaustion. Between last year and this, Florida is well and truly pooped out. We, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas make up the most aggrieved members of the New Millenium Hurricane Haters Association

And now Wilma may be coming to town. I loathe her with a passion already.

I am setting aside my WIP to go run the usual errands one must before a storm may strike: bank for cash, grocery store for food and other supplies, etc. Laundry must be done in case power goes out. (Katrina, a mere category one when she swept by, left us without power for 33 hours in hellish August.) Gas tanks must be filled. Flashlights tested. Plastic tubs and bags set out for encasing valuables. The crank-radio gotten out of its box. Bathrooms scrubbed and tubs readied for filling. Buckets located for drips. (And I still have a leak in the back room closet from Katrina that I haven't been able to get fixed cause all the building contractors are booked solid. No, it's not a roofing issue. Roofer said so.)

Sucks big time, people.

If you believe in prayer, please ask God to quash Wilma into oblivion before she makes landfall ANYWHERE.

Dr. Neil Frank, former Director of the National Hurricane Center, does believe prayer can calm a hurricane. Any true Christian knows without a doubt that Jesus, if he wills, can calm a storm--he's been there, done that. Only let us not be "of little faith." ::::smile::::

Lord, have mercy. Lord speak to the wind and the waves.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Two Frothy Guffaws and a Shot of Mercy to Chase 'Em Down

In case you have a budget so tight that you have to grease around the edges to pay the higher balances on your ExxonMobil credit card, I offer proof that Americans do, indeed, have quite a bit of disposable income--and no, I don't mean the crazy sums we spend on renting Adam Sandler DVDs and paying-per-view for ephemeral sporting pleasures or on plumping up lips and bosoms into horrors of artifice:

Exhibit A: Rejection Toilet Paper. Please, please, tell me who spends 90 bucks on four rolls of toilet paper, no matter how amusing? Most writers are not "flush" with cash. I could never dump these babies down the john. Uh-uh. Pass the Charmin.

Exhibit B: The Unfortunate Pair of Leather Pants. This auction ad was written by a fella who could make a tidy sum writing a Lad Lit novel, methinks. Catch this fast. It won't be on much longer. Guaranteed to elicit funky snorts from your oral region.

A gentle reminder:
The Salvation Army, SBC-NAMB, Samaritan's Purse, and other worthy Christian organizations are still out there helping the victims of the recent hurricanes. If you have a few bucks left over after filling up at the Amoco and splurging on used leather goods, please send off another--or your first-- donation.

And while you're in a giving frame of mind, please remember the Pakistani people. Even as I type,many are dying in the cold, without shelter, without food, some terribly injured. God's mercy--and yours--is much needed. Many of these people despise Westerners, so it's a question, then, of loving our enemies, because we love the God who loves them as much as He loves us.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Set Yourself Ablaze!

Hermits fascinate me. Desert Fathers and Mothers--the Abbas and the Ammas of the ancient church--intrigue me. Their teachings are not easy. Speaking as they do from a time and a lifestyle so far removed from our pampered American ways ,they force us to make comparisons and assess ourselves. We may think they were excessive and nuts. Or we may think we're lukewarm and self-satisfied. But we can't brush off the sayings with ease.

Some of the brief stories that are collected under the "sayings" of the desert sages poke me sharply in the soul. They lay me out under a glaring sun, bare spiritually to my own eyes. It's not usually a pretty sight. My judgmentalism can't take cover. My self-indulgence--gluttony, lustful thoughts, critical attitudes, selfishness--are spotlighted. Holiness and sacrifice were priorities for the Abbas and Ammas. They are not always number one every minute of my day. Or every hour.

How about you? Is holiness a priority with you right now? Today?
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

One of my favorite of the sayings is the following:
Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said to him, 'Abba as far as I can I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate, I live in peace and as far as I can, I purify my thoughts. What else can I do?' then the old man stood up and stretched his hands towards heaven. His fingers became like ten lamps of fire and he said to him, 'If you will, you can become all flame.'

I long for the will of stone that indefatigably pursues that becoming. I don't have it. I pray just to want it. Imagine the wonder of it, to be luminous from the inside out, on fire for the Lord, full of clarity, the obstacles falling away, the stone rolling aside.

Let's face it, becoming all flame is a scary proposition. Tempting, yes. Desirable and profitable? Oh, yes. But terrifying. Everything changes.

Just imagine how your life--your work, your relationships, your spiritual progress, your creative activities, your body--would develop and prosper if such power transformed you.

Do you want to be ablaze? Do you wish to become all flame?

Ask the God who is a consuming fire. Ask the Light of the World. Ask the one who dwells in inapproachable light. Let's ask, and not be afraid. Let's be strong and very courageous.

Third Day, the Christian blues-rock/worship group, wrote a song titled "Consuming Fire." Some of the lines say this:

Set this place on fire,
Send your spirit, Savior.
Rescue from the mire.
Show your servant favor.

Sing it with me. Only change the words this much: Set me, Lord, on fire!

And pray for me, please. I am not brave enough to fully ignite, and I want to be.

We can start a raging wildfire. If we will.

Welcome to the Mirathon!

Call me Mir. Or Mirtika. Or Mirty. I answer to them all. Just, please, try to roll that "r" a bit and give it a Cuban flavor. Since some of my fave people on the planet have a blog, I'm putting on some classic Beny More on the cd player and joining the dance!

What do I love: My sweet-faced, brilliant, hunnybunny (alias, hubby); my Lord Jesus, who I'm sure sent me sweet hubby out of pure mercy; books and books and, oh, books; music; the night sky; napping.

My fave band: Iona. (Fave album, tie between JOURNEY INTO THE MORN and BEYOND THESE SHORES) Other faves: Out of the Grey, John Michael Talbot, Michael Card, Heart, Steely Dan, Loreena McKennitt, Dan Fogelberg (the older stuff),Tom Petty (early stuff), Bad Company, Led Zeppelin, Sarah McLachlan.


My fave short story collections: DANGEROUS VISIONS (edited by Harlan Ellison), any of the fairy tale collections by WINDLING/DATLOW (eds), The Martian CHRONICLES, any collection by Doris Betts, RED AS BLOOD by Tanith Lee, HER SMOKE ROSE UP FOREVER by James Tiptree,Jr(Alice Sheldon), the collected stories of Flannery O'Connor, any story collection by Connie Willis, WOMAN HOLLERING CREEK by Sandra Cisneros, SISTER EMILY'S LIGHTSHIP by Jane Yolen.

Anything there you can relate to?

Cool, if so. If not, try something! You might like it.

This blog will likely be concerned with a few obsessions of mine: reading and writing, my ridiculous weight, theological matters, and, if I can't restrain myself, some opinionated right-wing comments. (Yes, I am one of those Red Staters who believes in God and traditional families and thinks that the ancient virtues--including the Biblical virtues of faith, hope and love--form the strongest backbone of a healthy society. So chill out. If you disagree, find another blog to read. There are a gazillion out there for every taste.)

So, as the music plays, the earth turns, the sun burns, the books are printed, the internet buzzes, and the living God moves in the hearts of his people...let the Mirathon begin.